Taking a different tack to this week’s episode, we welcomed a photographer who found fame through his work in the hip-hop scene, but who has most recently been shooting the likes of Messi and Ronaldinho. Yep, Mel D. Cole loves his football and has some stories to tell, and it was a fresh spin to have him on the SoccerBible Podcast.

From photographing Beyonce, Jay-Z, The Roots, Drake, Common, Chance the Rapper, A$AP Rocky, Lil' Wayne, Childish Gambino, Tyler the Creator, Kendrick, Questlove and more to shooting AS Roma, somewhere along the line, New York City hip-hop photographer Mel D. Cole developed a passion for the beautiful game. Often seen sporting a football shirt on shoots or just out and about, it’s a passion that has seen him travel to Rome to shoot his first European football match – Roma v Napoli – back in 2019, and he hasn’t looked back from there, diving headlong into the culture. 

Having made his name as a supreme talent in the photography world, the work of Mel D. Cole is nothing short of seminal. An Arsenal fan, weaving his hand from music into football has provided a unique perspective on not just the game, but the world as a whole. We caught up with him fresh from shooting Ronaldinho and Messi for Pepsi, joining their collective in the brand’s ‘Play to Inspire’ campaign. It’s a journey few others in the world can boast, and it’s a fresh set of experiences that we simply couldn’t miss hearing about. Enjoy the ride.

Listen to the full episode now on Spotify.

I met Hector in the tunnel at the Emirates coming off the bus and he immediately knew who I was, shook my hand and said ‘let’s get up in two days.’ Two days came and he picked me up in his car, and off we went, walking around London. And it was just him, he came by himself, no one else. That was his energy.”
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Ronnie, as I like to call him, because we’re homies, we’re boys – he’s my guy – was super-amazing to be around. To see him do what he has to do behind the scenes and translate that to the final product was just amazing. And to document that and to be there? Shake his hand? I have washed my hand since then, but I didn’t want to!"
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Listen to the full SoccerBible Podcast episode with Mel D. Cole and our entire back catalogue at Spotify, iTunes and Spreaker.